Al Jazeera English launches on YouTube

Al Jazeera English today announced it is to post clips from its news programmes on the popular video-sharing site YouTube.

Content will include segments from top shows such as Frost over the World, Everywoman and Inside Iraq.

The broadcaster is also planning to release some exclusive web-only programming, starting with Poltical Bytes, a global conversation hosted by UN correspondent Mark Seddon which will ask the YouTube community to carry on the conversation and add video contributions.

"We believe that YouTube is a perfect platform to reach out to our audience and to give wide and easy access to new viewers around the world. We have significantly built on our distribution since launch and now reach well in access of 90 million cable and satellite households worldwide. With YouTube's community of millions of online users this is set to dramatically increase," said Nigel Parsons, Managing Director of Al Jazeera English.

At the time of writing, there were 12 videos posted at www.youtube.com/aljazeeraenglish, including some by veteran broadcaster Sir David Frost. Many had attracted only a handful of views.

Earlier this month it was announced that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had launched a "channel" on the YouTube website so that his political party could communicate directly with voters.

A 'slightly awkward-looking' Blair - according to one news site - claims that "the purpose of this is so that people can get a proper idea of actually what we are trying to do in the Labour Party" in a minute-long introductory video.

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